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Russia’s richest woman being trolled for modest lifestyle

14:33, June 13

The richest woman in Russia, founder of Wildberries Tatyana Bakalchuk, is in no hurry to buy houses and yachts, branded outfits, and she prefers to fly “economy class,” despite her fortune of $7 billion.

In an interview with Forbes, Bakalchuk admitted that she is often trolled for such a modest lifestyle. “People are trolling me: ‘Are you flying economy?’ Well, yes, I'm flying. So what? I’m not an ascetic, and if I need to fly, say, nine hours, of course, I’ll take ‘business,’ but if possible, I’ll take ‘business’ based on miles, because I fly a lot. I’m not talking about sleeping on the sofa—one of the Westerners said that he doesn’t have an apartment and sleeps on a sagging mattress—but about rationality. And there is no need to make me into an ascetic who only flies as an ‘economist.’ If possible, I will not fly economy,” the businesswoman noted.

The last time the billionaire had to make five flights in a week, which undermined her health. “It’s broken. I was on IV drips for a couple of days, she shared. “The employees said: ‘That’s it, Tatyana Vladimirovna, do whatever you want, we don’t fly economy anymore. We need you, you need to take care of yourself.’ (…) Now, by the way, I am transferring the same philosophy to my team, which flies a lot... You know, when your salespeople catch up with you in a convertible, you can probably sometimes afford to fly ‘business.’”

Bakalchuk’s goal is to turn Wildberries into a global brand. “If we talk about the company, we want to be the ones who fit into history. Everyone knows Ford, Toyota, Amazon. I want Wildberries to also be inscribed in world history. And as a person, I want to make people's lives better. I'm not talking about beautiful words now. That is, I am driven by the fact that I make the world around me better. I don’t know if it sounds pretentious or not, but that’s how I feel.”


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